Angels to enter 2015 with financial flexibility …
The Angels avoided arbitration with Matt Joyce earlier on Monday, and now, barring a surprising, last-minute addition, it looks like their Opening Day payroll is pretty much set.
Let’s take a look at what we’ve got for 2015, with information provided by Cot’s Contracts …
Josh Hamilton: $25.4M
Albert Pujols: $24M
C.J. Wilson: $18.5M
Jered Weaver: $18.2M
Erick Aybar: $8.75M
Huston Street: $7M
David Freese: $6.425M
Mike Trout: $6,083,333
Chris Iannetta: $5.525M
Joe Smith: $5.25M
Garrett Richards: $3.2M
Hector Santiago: $2.29M
Fernando Salas: $1.37M
Cesar Ramos: $1.312M
Vinnie Pestano: $1.15M
Collin Cowgill: $995,000
Drew Butera: $987,500
That’s $141,187,833 for 18 players (and $86,100,000 for four). When adding the Major League minimum ($500,000) to seven more in order to make a full roster, that gives the Angels a 2015 Opening Day payroll of about $144,687,833 (not exact because a lot of players get slightly more than the minimum). That’s third-highest in club history, but about $10 million less than last year.
Here’s a look at previous Opening Day payrolls dating back to 2000 …
As I’ve explained before, though, the Competitive Balance Tax payroll (the average annual value of all 40-man roster contracts, plus benefits and bonuses) is what typically matters most to the Angels, who want to stay below the luxury-tax threshold of $189 million.
Since signing Pujols and Wilson in December 2011, the Angels have been painstakingly close to that line, a reality that has at times impacted their ability to make necessary, late-season additions.
Heading into this season, they have some flexibility, and a source said they plan to use it if necessary.
As it stands, the Angels’ CBT payroll sits at roughly $174 million (you can’t get the exact figure until the end of the season). That’s a $15 million difference, some of which the Angels can use to upgrade the rotation, or second base, or anything else that may come up in the first half.
July could be a very interesting month this year.